Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 8/24/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
AVENGED SEVENFOLD – “Seize The Day” (2005)
At its core, Avenged Sevenfold’s “Seize The Day” is a modern-day love song, albeit one that has a more ominous tone than most. This is the song that turned me on to A7X over a decade ago.
With the passage of time, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the majority of gifts received for various occasions. However, I remember my wife giving me City Of Evil for my birthday in 2005. It’s a great album overall, but the song that I played over and over again when I got it was “Seize The Day.” It remains, to this day, my favorite A7X song.
Anyone who is a fan of the movie Dead Poet’s Society will appreciate the sentiment of this song title. In the movie, one of the key moments is the use of the Latin phrase “carpe diem” (which translates in English to “seize the day”).
There are other songs that serve as a reminder to live in the moment, and they can be motivational, but there is something about the melancholic tone of “Seize The Day” that makes the message hit home in a more visceral way. At least, that is the case for me.
NICKELBACK – “If Today Was Your Last Day” (2008)
Nickelback’s 2008 release, Dark Horse, will always have a special place in my heart, but not necessarily because of the album itself. It was the Dark Horse tour that brings memories rushing back, because it was my son’s first concert. I’m thankful that I cherished the moment as it was happening because we’ve only been to one other concert together since. Much to my dismay, his musical tastes shifted drastically not long after this concert.
Although there are other Nickelback albums that rank my higher on my personal list, Dark Horse does feature one of my favorite songs by the band in “If Today Was Your Last Day.” Like A7X’s “Seize The Day,” this song is one that reminds you to live in each moment.
No one likes to think about their own mortality, but if you pay attention to the lyrics of songs like this, you can’t help but spend at least a moment reflecting. I can’t say exactly what I would do in this scenario, but I do know that I’d want to be around those closest to me. There’s a romantic notion of fixing all of the things that you feel are broken when the end is near, but life rarely has a Hollywood ending.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
KING DIAMOND – “Abigal” (1987)
One of my favorite King Diamond albums of all time is 1987’s Abigail. The second release by the band was their first concept album, and tells a story about a couple moving into a haunted mansion. Ignoring warnings made to them by seven horsemen, the couple meets countless ghosts of deceased relatives (particularly of Abigail, a stillborn child). The ghosts warn the husband that his wife carries the spirit of Abigail, and that he must kill her to prevent the child from being reborn. All this is revealed in each song leading up to the crescendo of the title track. Enough material to be made into a movie (I would definitely see it), each song forms a twisted part of the whole story, with the musical composition and arrangements being one of the best that King Diamond has ever done. The musicianship of Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner on guitar, and Mikkey Dee on drums, made this a hugely intricate album as well. This is probably an album I could listen to in its entirety over and over again, and never get tired of it.
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – “War Inside My Head” (1987)
During the time when MTV was pushing glam metal bands, and everyone in the metal scene had big hair, sequins and flashy clothes (yes, even bands like Judas Priest and Ozzy hopped on the bandwagon), I was so glad that bands like Suicidal Tendencies existed. The hardcore crossover scene was the exact antithesis of the glam metal scene that kids like me were looking for. Especially for the angst-ridden teen, Suicidal was much more relatable when they sang about pressures from society, turmoil and fitting in, than when the glam metal folks sang about partying, drugs and girls. “War Inside My Head” (from their album Join the Army) is the perfect example of this. Singing about real life issues made a lot of kids realize that they were not alone which (for some) means a lot. The songwriting and composition of Mike Muir, Rocky George on guitar, a young Robert Trujillo (Metallica), and the aggression of the music, helps to cement this as one of the best releases of 1987.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
WHITESNAKE – “Fool For Your Loving” (1980)
After leaving Deep Purple, David Coverdale founded Whitesnake in 1978. The band built on that same classic (but bluesy) style. This song was their first big hit, from 1980’s Ready an’ Willing. It’s rumored to have been written by the band for blues legend B.B. King, but they ultimately recorded it themselves, and then re-recorded it for 1989’s Slip of the Tongue. Coverdale says that he prefers this (the original) version, though.
WHITESNAKE – “Give Me More Time” (1984)
While Whitesnake’s brand of rock started out bluesy and gritty, it gradually yielded to a more commercial sound. The band is in transition here on this song from 1984’s Slide It In, embracing elements of both styles.